Book Review: Map: Exploring the World

I was lucky enough to receive this book from Santa last month. Yes, it is a coffee table book, but with over 300 large format pages it will easily find a home in any map-lover’s collection.

The book is an eclectic map collection. Each map is produced one per page with a text description beneath. There is no formal order, but maps tend to be paired. For example a medieval town map might be opposite a modern map of the same city. Or the map of Waterloo used by Wellington is opposite Minard’s famous map of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign losses.

The maps really are eclectic – everything from modern photo-mosaics to prehistoric rock carvings. Also not all are true geographic maps. Many are more conceptual in nature, such as 20th century satirical maps (e.g. “View of the World from 9th Avenue”), and historical/allegorical maps including a number of medieval “T-O” Maps such as the Hereford Mappa Mundi. Probably every famous map you know of is here. Waldseemüller and Mercator rub shoulders with al-Sufi and al-Idrisi. A nice touch are a number of fictional maps such as Shepard’s Hundred Acre Wood.

Recommended for any map-lover!

(as well as Amazon, members of the Geological Society of London can buy this book at a discounted price from the GSL bookshop)


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